This driving tour takes you on the Mount Rogers Scenic Byway, providing stops to see both cultural and natural highlights. The tour is organized to start at Marion, Virginia at exit 45 on I-81 and end at exit 29 on I-81 at Glade Spring. The total distance is 53.6 miles. Take a picnic along and make a day of the tour!
Along most of the route of this tour there is no cell phone coverage, thus the map function may not work. Be certain to download the app where you do have cell coverage and use it off line for the tour.
Enhance your enjoyment of the tour by adding the suggested activities at several stops. These include a short walk on the Appalachian Trail, a short walk to the boundary of the Lewis Fork wilderness area, an additional 9.2 (one way) drive to the top of Whitetop Mountain, and a short walk to the Creek Junction train trestle.
The page for each tour site begins with directions to that site from the previous site.
Start - To reach the starting point, exit I-81 at exit 45 at Marion. Travel south on VA 16 to reach site 1, the Pat Jennings Visitor Center.
End - The tour ends at Damascus. Plan to spend time in Damascus, then return to I-81 via VA 91 which will take you to I-81 exit 29 at Glade Spring.The distance from Damascus to I-81 via VA 91 is 12.4 miles. An alternative is to follow US58 West to Abingdon.
Need a shorter tour? You can easily customize this tour by studying the route on Google Maps and splitting the route into two or more shorter segments. Easy access to the middle of the tour is via VA600 (Whitetop Rd) at site 12, the Konnarock Training School. Access is from I-81 exit 35 at Chilhowie.